Is today the chance for Reiss Nelson to prove his worth in the EPL?

Now Or Never For Reiss Nelson? BY Dan Smith

I wrote the same regarding Joe Willock a week ago. This time I claim it could be a defining moment in his Arsenal career for Reiss Nelson.

Willock has been playing well in the Europa League which earnt him a first Premiership start of the season at Elland Road. He did what he tends to do when given an opportunity in a match that is not a cup tie, he went through the motions, letting the game pass him by.

This Thursday it was Nelson’s turn to impress in Europe.

That combined with Pepe’s domestic suspension and Saka’s and Willian’s injuries has led some gooners to suggest Nelson should start on Sunday.

Even if Willian is fit, based on form, his place in the first team is under threat.

Arteta’s only other option is a back 5 where the wing backs provide the width.

The issue with our latest of group of British academy graduates isn’t their ability. To make it this far from the youth set up means you have proven you have talent. The question mark is do they have the mentality to succeed at this level? Can they cope with the pressure of being expected to win every week? You only find that out by giving them opportunities.

After a couple of years though I feel that a Nelson still plays likes he’s grateful to be playing for the Gunners, more than believing he belongs.

If you compare him to a Saka, does Nelson demand the ball? Does he try something without fearing a mistake? Or does he play it safe?

If he started against Wolves, would he believes he’s the man to be the difference?
That attitude is what separates you from playing at a top 4 side (where we are striving to be) compared to a midtable club (which I guess we are?).

Nelson hasn’t had as many starts as the likes of Maitland-Niles in the League, but he’s still had 21 appearances. If you are honest how many of those can you say Nelson was great in?

Look at the first 21 Prem outings of the then teenagers Jack Wilshire and Aaron Ramsey, and you could see they looked comfortable in their surroundings.

As much as we all want ‘one of our own’ to succeed we have to be ruthless if we ever want to be what we once were.

It’s a marketing dream to have British kids promoted from the academy. Why do you think they are the face of the club’s merchandise department? It’s because gooners can identify themselves more with a player who has grown up with the club.

It means fans tend to have more patience compared to if they were a signing from abroad.

Our manager has always said anyone not meeting our standards it won’t be tolerated. The fact is Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock make up one of our least creative midfields in years.

Dropping Ozil means there is a spotlight on them to contribute goals and assists.

Willock didn’t take his opportunity last weekend, now it could be Nelson’s turn.

If he does start, I want to see personality. The 20-year-old demanding the ball, being brave, taking risks, etc.

You don’t know how many more chances he will get…

Be Kind In The Comments



  1. It is looking likely he might start today. I am not sure Arteta will rush Saka and Willian back to play on the wings.

    So what will the selection look like?

    Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nelson

    Xhaka, Elneny, Ceballos,

    Tierney, Gabriel, Holding, Bellerin,


    I fear for this kind of selection.

    1. I like the look of your team but would play Aubamayang in the middle with Saka and Nelson either side. Laca on the bench to come on if an impact sub is required, but again would prefer Balogun and Nketiah as impact subs.

  2. The player has incredible workrate, so just for that he must be included in the team every game. That will please TMJW and the other senseless fans who believe that is all that is required to be successful in the EPL.

  3. I was put emphasis on the energy that the player possesses. For sure, Nelson will inject pace in the team. Even if Willian is fit, Nelson is always better. The problem is that Arteta doesn’t trust youth

  4. Apart from Saka none are first team started for Arsenal and never will be. We are just kidding ourselves. These so called youngsters have been given so many chances and not under one but three managers but they have always failed when it comes to league matches or against a quality opposition in cup matches as well. Fans can hype them as much as they want based on matches against third tier teams in Europe or championship teams in Cardoba cup. Fact remains interms of Academy only player of quality we have produced so far after Wilsher is Saka. I have been saying for some time if your acdemy is producing one player in a decade kind of thing first Wilsher then Saka only two players in such a long time period then it needs to be revamped and restructured as there is something wrong.

    1. I wish I could agree with you that fans are more patient with homegrown players. Unfortunately I think we are less patient Ready to throw them on the scrap heap by age 21, moving on to the next 18 year old shiny thing from the academy. But always poses to blame the club for letting youngsters slip through the net when they are given the opportunity AND TIME to excel elsewhere.

      1. Trudeau, plz give some example of Arsenal Academy players who in last decade have slipped out of our hands and gone on to become hits in other teams, keeping in mind I am talking about our Acdemy players that we developed not the ones we bought from other Acdemies n gave them chance to play in our first team. Which ones have excelled i would like to know bec I don’t see any. Well if you are talented and you have quality then age does not matter. If you are avg as 18 year old I don’t know how can you get world class at 28. You need to have the quality in you, I am sad to state this but apart from Wilsher and Saka none of the youngsters who have played against quality opposition have shown the glimpse of that quality. How many chances have we given to neslon, Willock …I bet they won’t get these chances anywhere else in world yet they flop everytime we put them in match of quality like league matches.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs